Free Market Research Report Offer Is a Scam – Yes Or No? – Dont Be S

On October 22, 2008, Market Resource Associates, Inc. , Minneapolis, MN initiated a press release offering a written report of 172 pages in length FREE to virtually any manufacturer, distributor, retailer or agency rep in the building materials, lawn and garden, kitchen and bath business.

Interestingly, a huge lesson was learned in 6 short days.

First, over 41,000 people from all over the world saw or clicked on the headline.

Secondly, only 808 people read the entire offer.

Thirdly, only 126 actually asked for the FREE report via email and not one called a toll-free number.

As a market researcher this was absolutely amazing to me, so I began speaking with other researchers, whom I trust completely, and gained their thoughts on the subject.

First, it is true that anything Free is too good to be true. There must be some ulterior motive for the offer that can “rope me into an uncomfortable situation. ” If that is true, then why do we purchase detergent with 12 ounces free, or a new car with free OnStar?

The difference in my opinion is the two examples sited are made in addition to a purchased product or service. My offer was just FREE. Maybe I should have offered the Remodeler version for the regular price of $595 and thrown in the Consumer version Free.

Not many folks read the offer, in fact about 2% did, and then about 16% of the 2% actually took advantage of the offer. Clearly some read the offer, but it either did not apply, or it was still suspect. Thinking about this fact, it would suggest the real culprit here could be that folks would be using their email address to respond and take advantage of the offer. “Danger Will Robinson. “

We are all too busy for Spam, in fact billions of dollars are wasted each year by Spam. I guess maybe the same could be said of television, radio, newspaper or billboard advertising as well. But hey, what about those on-line pop-ups, or offers on the Google site to the right of the look-up criteria?

I abhor Spam myself, in fact I probably get 10 to 12 a day, since I have a Spaminator that gets most of it out before my in-box.

This leaves quite a quandary for both the marketer and the passive or active shopper of services or products. Where do business and consumer shoppers look for new products, new services or information most often? According to our research and others who have conducted, the internet is leading the race.

Truth be known, we blame spam, telephone calls from pesky customers and do-nothing meetings for all the loss of time in our days, but most smart marketers know this is not true. The real issue is personal intrusion into the work place – Text messaging, kids, friends, computer time for personal reasons, and more.

Sometimes the offer of Free is just that. Folks should take at least 5 minutes of their extremely busy schedule to read a few offers. One may just be a Free offer with no strings attached.

John Cashmore is president of Market Resource Associates, Inc. A Minneapolis, Minnesota based full service market research and marketing consultancy specializing in the building materials, kitchen and bath and lawn and garden industries. john. cashmore@mraonline.com 800-795-3056 from the US and Canada.